What happens to a levitating gyroscope in a vacuum?

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/20/what-happens-to-a-levitating-g.html


like to think this goes on for over twice the time but fancy the energy has to be expelled so presume that would be that…

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To be a little tedious, perhaps, any moving conductor in a magnetic field experiences an induced EMF, and if the resistance of the circuit is other than zero or infinite, there will be energy loss due to the resultant current causing resistive heating. Unless, therefore, the gyroscope is a superconductor or an insulator, it will lose energy in this way.
Hard ferrite magnets have high resistivity and so will have little heating loss, but even under ideal circumstances in a perfect vacuum there will be some energy loss - the resistivity of barium ferrite is given as about 1010 ohm cm, so even in the absence of precession the gyroscope will eventually slow down below sustaining speed.



Nothing lasts forever.

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